By Andy Young

Swinney Vineyards and former head winemaker with Hardy's and Constellation, Peter Dawson, have established a partnership to buy the Powderbark Ridge vineyard.

Powderbark, in Frankland River, is one of the Great Southern's most reputable vineyards.

Matt Swinney, the executive director of Swinney Vineyards, told TheShout: "Powderbark has a reputation for producing very high quality fruit so we are obviously keen to maintain that and to enhance quality where we can. 

"We are confident that our learnings from our other vineyards in the region, particularly Wilson's Pool vineyard, will be helpful. Our goal is to maintain the Vineyard's long running customer relationships and ideally over time work with those customers to create Vineyard specific products."

The Swinney family has been farming in the Frankland River region since 1922 and as well as Wilson's Pool also has the International Hill and Ingenue vineyards in its portfolio.

Dawson, who has twice been named International Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London, said that the new partnership will help take the vineyard to new heights.

"Powderbark Ridge is an outstanding vineyard with good elevation and classic ironstone soil types; it has a proven history of high quality fruit production," Dawson said.

"We share a common vision with the Swinneys regarding the future of Frankland River as one of Australia’s premium red wine regions. With our combined experience, track record of innovation, and the existing resources of Swinney Vineyards we will take the vineyard to new highs. Outstanding vineyard sites do not come along very often."

Swinney added: "Powderbark Ridge is a perfect fit to our existing vineyard business, and reflects the confidence we have in the industry and the Frankland River sub-region. Having known and worked with Peter for the best part of 20 years, it makes complete sense that he should join with us in this exciting project."

And although Swinney did tell TheShout there are no plans to produce wines under a Powderbark Ridge label, there are still some new releases coming.

He added: "We are looking forward to releasing a 2014 Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre blend. We think Frankland River's expression of this southern Rhone classic, made with Grenache and Mourvedre fruit coming from our bush vines is pretty interesting and this blend will become synonymous with the region."

The Shout Team

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